Miyajima – Hiroshima | Travel Information

Itsukushima Shrine Torii

Itsukushima, or better known as Miyajima, is a small island located in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture.  Miyajima is one of the all time top destinations in Japan. The island of Miyajima is only 30.4km2, allowing for the island to be explored with ease. The island  has a maximum elevation of 535 meters above sea level at the summit of Mt. Misen. Miyajima is often regarded as one of the most scenic spots in Japan. Should you visit the island, you will certainly see why with it’s fantastic views and rich culture.  


The Island of Gods

One thing that makes Miyajima special, is that its often referred to as ‘The Island of Gods’. Shrines and temples are littered throughout the streets in high density. There are 24 shrines/ temples/pagodas within walking distance from the ferry terminal. In addition, Miyajima is home to one of the world’s most famous shrines – The Itsukushima Shrine. The Itsukushima Shrine has been recognised as a World Heritage Site with over 800 years of history to its name. It can be identified as the Floating shrine. At high tide, the sea engulfs the pathway, only leaving the Great Torii Gate at sea making the Torri gate appear to be floating atop the water. Itsukushima Shrine is dedicated to the daughters of the Shinto God of Seas and Storms, and because of this, Miyajima is considered to be a very sacred island. Over time, there has been dozens of other temples and shrines established on the island. Miyajima has become so sacred, that it is said to maintain purity, no births or deaths are permitted on the island. Pregnant women, are expected to return to the mainland when their due date nears. Likewise, terminally ill people are encouraged to head to the mainland to pass on.

There is also a very unique vibe to the residential streets. Most of the streets of Miyajima retain a historic, traditional design. Walking through these streets often feels as if you have taken a walk through time. 

These streets are absolutely beautiful and it is highly recommended that you visit them if you are on Miyajima. Many souvenirs available for purchase are all locally produced wood-working crafts which have been produced for several centuries with the same construction methods taught, and based down by the early settlers.

Being an Island in the Seto Sea of Japan, seafood plays a vital role in the Island’s culture.  Oysters are among some of Miyajima’s finest seafood. Seafood is beloved by most of Miyajima. Residents often collect shellfish near the Itsukushima Shrine and surrounding waters. Every year, around the middle of February, Miyajima hosts an Oyster festival, where as you can expect, you will see a copious amount of Oysters. Live music and other cultural performances are spread out all over the main area of Miyajima and is a definite must see if you are a Oyster Fan.

Backstreets of Miyajima
Backstreets of Miyajima

What to do on Miyajima

Itsukushima Shrine

Okeiko Japan


Itsukushima shrine
Misen town

As mentioned, the Itsukushima Shrine is one of the most popular sites on Miyajima, and one of the most scenic spots in all of Japan!

Most people who visit Miyajima visit, purely for this one shrine!

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Okeiko Japan is a facility on Miyajima which provides an authentic Japanese experience. Here you can do many cultural activities such as  Japanese Tea Ceremony, Calligraphy, Japanese Cooking and many more!

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Mt. Misen is a popular hike on Miyajima. The walk scales up Mt. Misen, which is Miyajima’s highest peak at 535meters. At the top, you will have fantastic, 360° view of the Hiroshima bay, and surrounding islands in the Seto Sea of Japan.


Accessing Miyajima

As already mentioned, Miyajima is an Island located in Hiroshima Bay. The only way to access the island is via ferry. Most people depart from Miyajimaguchi ferry terminal, which is located just 2 minutes away from Miyajimaguchi train station, which has services to the center of Hiroshima. 

Boats depart regularly, operated by 2 companies, JR and Matsudai. Both charge a small rate of 180JPY each way for a 10 minute ferry across to the island.